38사기동대 ep 3
Now that Jung Do talked his way out of going back to jail in exchange for helping Sung Il take down Ma Jin Seok for the 6 million in taxes he owes, he is back in the scam game. Jung Do confidently shows up at Sung Il’s office is a suit and, taking advantage of yet another mix up with the two Baek Sung Ils in the department, uses the opportunity to get our Sung Il out of the office to begin operation take down President Ma.
Jung Do’s smooth double talk catches Sung Il off guard and before he knows it Jung Do has taken the lead in the sting. By the way, there’s a 10% cut he tells Sung Il. Oh, and this is no small job: Jung Do has already begun assembling a team. One by one Jung Do introduces the scam team members to Sung Il.
First, there’s Burner. Surprise! As it turns out, Sung Il and Burner go back to, well, when he tracked down Jung Do’s scam phone in the first place. Second is Keyboard. Not a looker, but he’s the best at what he does – “creating” documents.
Third – meet Gold, the woman from Jung Do’s past who supplies used cars for him and who knows what else. Last is Wallet who Jung Do suggests he meet on his own. Sung Il won’t hear of it and insists on taking the lead in talking to Wallet. Ms. Wallet’s connections go high up – all the way to Chairman Wang, the “chairman” in prison.
Her aura is imposing and she is ready to dismiss small timers like Jung Do and Sung Il who are wasting her precious time, until she makes a strategic call and finds out first hand that Jung Do is the real thing. After all, she is told, he saved the Chairman’s life. Jung Do sits there with the smuggest grin on his face. He knows with such impressive information from the Chairman’s top man himself that Ms. Wallet is “in.” Sung Il is nervous but he sure is getting an education about Jung Do’s top notch con artist skills.
Back at the office Sung Hee has an inkling that something fishy is going on. When she asks Sung Il who he was with earlier, he skims over it and says it’s nothing.
Meeting place and time: The warehouse. 7 p.m. Invitation only. All the team members show up, wary of one another, knowing they’re working together for a common cause – $$ – but they don’t have to like it. Ms. Wallet is put out that she has to grace such a sleazy workplace. Jung Do fills them in. At first it sounds like they’re in it only for the 10% cut and the members are deeply insulted. But remember, Jung Do is scammer extraordinaire and there’s a BIG twist: add the original 6 million plus the 10% cut and now the job is much more lucrative.
One thing, Sung Il isn’t at the meeting yet – he’s running late – and misses the details of the scam plan. By the time he shows up the discussion about the swindle has gone down. It looks like Jung Do is going to use Sung Il, unbeknownst to him, to pull off a double scam. My heart just sank for Sung Il because he so innocently (or is it stupidly?) believes he is in on the plan to take down his nemesis, Ma Jin Seok.
It’s time for some intense training. From Gold, Sung Il learns voice phishing. It doesn’t coming naturally to bumbling Sung Il and will take some work. Jung Do is an expert in the art of observation: it’s all in the details. He tells Sung Il to observe all around him and keep it in his head. Keyboard instructs him how to create fake IDs.
Burner demonstrates how to fake getting hit by a car for immediate cash outlay. Sung Il is a slow student and tries everyone’s patience, but practice makes perfect. Sung Il’s success is varied but he gets the hang of the world of scamming. I can’t help but hate that he is being used.
Sung Hee and the other government office team members are out on calls. She happens to see Sung Il out and about with someone, and as the van passes them, she catches a glimpse of the person he’s with. It seems as if Jung Do might be familiar to her.
Sung Il gets a call from Jung Do to meet at the warehouse. He calls in to the office and tells Sung Hee that he’s sick and isn’t coming in today. She tells him to get some rest, but realizes something is off and drives to his house. When he heads out, she follows him.
Jung Do conducts a briefing session with the scam team members who have collected information on Ma Jin Seok. He’s 47, owes 5.77 million dollars in tax, and owns lots of hostess bars and clubs in Gangnam where he is well-known. None of the businesses are in his name. Furthermore, he regularly changes the club names to shuffle the taxes. He’s diligent, gets up early and checks the real estate market, uses a 2G phone that can’t be traced, loves to bet, doesn’t drink or mess with women. All his assets are listed under relatives’ names. The team discusses what angle to use to get to him. They look at Ma Jin Seok’s allies: tax accountant Jo Sang Gin who helps him dodge taxes and real estate manager Noh Deok Gi who provides insider information. For starters, Mi Joo will join Noh Deok Gi’s real estate agency.
Sung Il, running late again, gets to the meeting after the fact. Sung Hee has followed him and is close behind. She is sure something odd is going down. When he arrives Jung Do tells him, “What, did you walk here? You’re always late.” Just as he takes a seat, Sung Hee calls out, “Chief.” He is surprised to see her. Jung Do and Sung Hee’s eyes meet. It is apparent to everyone that they know each other. She tells him, “You look great,” and turns to Mi Joo saying, “It’s good to see you again.” So, they all know each other.
Then she grabs Sung Il’s arm, “Chief, let’s go.” She tells Sung Il it’s a swindle. He tries to explain that it’s planned, he isn’t being swindled, and that they are all working together on a way to get Ma Jin Seok. Sung Hee says she’ll call the police. Doesn’t he know that he’s being swindled? They’re the crooks that took his money; what in the world is he doing? “Yang Jung Do, that jerk, he’s a swindler.” When he tells her he is planning something and they are helping him, Sung Hee gets upset and says that if he loves his wife and mother, he won’t get involved with them.
Backstory: A younger Jung Do tells student Sung Hee that tears won’t work. She is crying because she found out he didn’t really like her. “I wouldn’t have dated you if I knew you were penniless. Why would I?” He tells her not to have a broken heart over their breakup; nothing he did was from his heart. “I was deceiving you.” Jung Do gets up and walks away. Sung Hee throws back a shot and sobs.
Sung Il asks Jung Do what happened between him and Sung Hee. “She used to have a crush on me,” he answers coolly. The atmosphere is a bit unsettled and Sung Il looks down, wondering if that’s all it was.
The next day Sung Il goes to work and asks where Sung Hee is. He is told she’s taken the day off.
The real estate scam is on, go! Ji Moo (Ms. Kim) works in Noh Deok Gi’s office. Keyboard and Burner work behind the scenes tapping into his account. Suddenly, his phone goes crazy as withdrawal after withdrawal from his bank account post. He calls Ms. Kim who tells him someone is taking out money ten cents at a time and he should call the police. Burner calls and poses as Financial Supervisory Service and tells Mr. Noh that they’ve received a report that money is being withdrawn from his account. Mr. Noh confirms that it’s true and Burner tells him to withdraw all the money from his account and take it home. This will prevent further losses. Next, they will send someone to his home and he is to follow the instructions by the book. “Yes, Sir!” Mr. Noh tells him. He goes to the bank and withdraws the money. Meanwhile, Jung Do, dressed in a suit, rings Mr. Noh’s doorbell: “I’m from the Financial Supervisory Service.” He’s smooth. Mr. Noh has a bag of money that he’s withdrawn, but Jung Do doesn’t stop there. He tells Mr. Noh to withdraw money from any other accounts as well or he’ll lose all that, too. In his rush to withdraw more money, Mr. Noh carelessly leaves the bag of money in his house.
Gold (Ms. Kim), adds fuel to the fire with a story about someone she knows who didn’t withdraw his money and lost it all, further panicking Mr. Noh.
Here’s Sung Il’s part: he is supposed to pose as police from Gangnam Serous Crimes Squad to take Mr. Noh’s statement. But, Sung Hee has done her own detective work and taken the day off to follow Sung Il. She is sure that this so-called scam team he thinks he is a part of is up to no good. Sung Hee is looking out for Sung Il’s best interest knowing that being mixed up with Jung Do can’t be a good thing.
So, she calls the real police to report fraud.
- This is great. The scam-scam is intricate, but the story unfolds in a way that makes it possible to follow and hope for a good outcome. Whatever that may be.
- Jung Do isn’t looking too good to me right now: he’s scamming Sung Il and has a history of scamming Sung Hee. Worse yet, he didn’t scam her for money since she didn’t have any; rather, he broke her heart because he used liking her as a reason to get close to her to scam her. I’m sure there is more to the story since Sung Hee also recognized Mi Joo.
- It’s funny how Sung Il wants to convince Sung Hee that he knows what he’s doing. Once scammed, shouldn’t you know better than to trust the very one that scammed you? Not only that, a reliable, loyal team member has warned him (although he doesn’t know the story of how she and Jung Do were involved), but he doesn’t take her advice.
- It’s hard to know how to view Sung Il at this point: is he a victim, a sucker, or blinded by revenge?
- I’m intrigued by Ms. Wallet who is she and what will we find out about her?